Faster customs clearance for certified Singapore firms exporting to the US

SINGAPORE - Certified firms here can now enjoy faster customs clearance for the goods they export to the United States, under a new agreement between Singapore Customs and the United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP).

The two parties have agreed that firms who meet the security standards under the Singapore Customs' Secure Trade Partnership (STP) programme - a growing list that now numbers 130 - will have their exports recognised by the US CBP to be of lower risk.

This will mean faster customs clearance for US exports, so firms here can better plan their cargo movements and enjoy cost savings which would otherwise be incurred due to port delays.

Similarly, American companies which have been certified by the US CBP will have their exports cleared expeditiously upon arrival in Singapore.

Singapore's director-general of Customs Ho Chee Pong and US CBP commissioner Richard Gil Kerlilowske inked the agreement to enhance supply chain security and facilitate trade between the two countries on Monday.

The heads of the two Customs administrations also signed a second agreement that allows them to exchange information and share best practices in the prevention and investigation of customs offences.

Mr Ho said that the agreement strengthens ongoing cooperation between the two bodies to combat cross-border customs fraud and smuggling. "Such cooperation will contribute to the integrity of the trading system, and enhances Singapore's reputation as a trusted trade hub," he said.

The US was Singapore's fourth largest trading partner last year, with total trade amounting to more than $77 billion. The top products traded between the US and Singapore include petroleum oil products, aviation components, electronic integrated circuits and parts for printing machinery.